30 Days of Detox

Hello!? It just dawned on me that I was missing a great blog opportunity! I haven’t blogged about a big change in our diet recently!!

About a month and a half ago, AJ (my husband) and I decided to do a 30 day cleanse based on The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. It all started with my fellow veggie-lover-health-nut friend Rebecca. She has been following this lifestyle for awhile now and after multiple conversations with her and after reading Detox for Women by Natalia Rose on my Nook…I decided to give it a try! Why? Although I already felt we were being healthy, I learned a lot from the book and thought we could use a cleanse. Also, I’m always up for trying something at least once. AJ was on board too- as long as it was only for 30 days! lol.

The Surprise. As far as AJ knew, we were going to start our cleanse on March 1st. However, what he didn’t know was that I had been planning a surprise trip to Disney World since Christmas and we would be leaving on March 1st! So after we had a fabulous time at Disney and ate til our hearts content- we officially started on March 6th.

Us on my most favoriteist ride of all time- The Rockin’ Rollercoaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Changes. On the cleanse we are no longer eating any sugar, grains (except for sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel), meat (except for fish!), cow dairy (goat is ok!!), or anything caffeinated. Most other things have already been cut out since we became Flexitarians. The biggest change is not what we’re eating but how we’re eating. The main thing being “Food Combining.”

It’s the whole idea that all foods have a “digestion time.” Meaning- that some foods don’t take very long to exit the stomach for digestion (like fruit) and yet others take a longer time (like meat). Food combining is combining foods that have the same “exit times” so that your whole meal gets digested at the same time to prevent food from sitting in the stomach too long. On the flip side of things, you are also being careful not to “mis-combine” to make sure you’re not giving your little system an overload!

The Detoxinista, my new favorite food blog to follow, has an awesome chart that I’ve printed out, laminated, and put on our fridge to make food combining that much easier. Here it is: Food Combining Chart. Check out what she has to say about food combining (super cute chart!) and also some of her awesome detoxilicious recipes!

The Food. So here’s a typical day for us…

This green juice is a mixture of kale, cucumber and 1 grapefruit with stevia to sweeten. It’s easily my favorite green juice so far but AJ detests the taste of grapefruit :(. So our daily juice is the “green lemonade” from the book. Still good :)

Each day starts out like this…with a big glass of green juice. We each have about 16 oz. of green juice for “breakfast” each day and try to drink as much water as possible during the morning as well. The goal is a whole liter of water but that doesn’t usually happen for me since I can’t spend my whole morning in the bathroom at work! We also may have some fruit by itself in the morning.

Lunch is our first “meal” of the day. Usually a raw salad with a homemade dressing and sometimes cooked veggies on the side. This is my new favorite lunch:

Raw Blended Carrot Revival (from the book) and a Veggie Sandwich. This soup is fantastic! It is so simple yet has such a punch of flavor! On my sprouted grain sandwich (Ezekiel bread) I have: stone ground mustard, sliced avocado, tomato slices, cucumber slices, onion slices, sea salt and garlic powder, and spring mix greens…

Good to the last drop!

If we snack in the afternoon, it is usually some raw carrot sticks, or if it’s 3 hrs. after our lunch and 3 hrs. before dinner we’ll have some nuts and dried fruit. Pistachios, almonds, cashews and dates are our favorite combo!

Dinner is the best part! If we have a flesh based meal (I have to call it “protein meal” around AJ because he gags at the word “flesh”) we’ll have a delicious raw salad with goat cheese in it…

Sauteed Onion and Goat Cheese salad

And some fish….

Bobby Deen’s Lime Baked Tilapia

Did I mention we can still have dessert? For dessert we’ll either have some dark chocolate (70% cocoa) or some Laloo’s goat milk ice cream (creamy, dreamy, and surprisingly non-goaty tasting!! Where has this been all my life!?!?).

Our favorite starch based dinner is a raw salad with lots of mashed avocado as a dressing (or chopped up in our salad), steamed veggies, and baked sweet potatoes dressed with organic butter and pumpkin pie spice…mmm!!

One thing is for sure. Detoxing is delicious if you do it right! Today is Day 22 for us! We were very tired and felt yucky for the first couple of days. But then…we both lost weight…which was not the goal but a by-product (I lost 5 lbs. in 5 days- yikes!) and most of all we feel great and have more energy! The best part is that I don’t ever feel bloated after eating a big filling meal and my stomach has stayed nice and flat for 22 days!! Stay tuned for more of my “properly combined detox recipes.” And who knew that I already had some on here?!

Watermelon Lemonade

Creamy Berry Smoothie

Ants on a Log- Revamped

After the 30 days? We’ll just have to wait and see!

Red Carrots

This week’s foodie tip (sorry it’s a couple days late!) is to buy in-season, local produce from your local Farmer’s Market. Buying locally not only helps your local economy, but you can actually talk directly to the person that grew your food! You know where it comes from, how it was grown, and often times get some good tips on how to prepare it if it’s something your not accustomed to.

I got these beautiful red carrots from Trace, or as I also call her- “my lady.” I am a faithful weekly customer of hers (for 2 years now) because she always has the most fresh, beautiful, and tasty produce! I have used these red carrots as well as her “rainbow carrots” (gorgeous colors of yellow, orange, red, white, peach- who knew carrots could come in so many colors?) in a number of ways. They make everything look gorgeous. I’ve put them in salads, in my Rainbow Roasted Vegetables, even used them to add earthiness and depth to my spaghetti sauce! This week make sure to make a stop at your Farmer’s Market!

Flexitarianism- Our Way

“High-tech tomatoes. Mysterious milk. Supersquash. Are we supposed to eat this stuff? Or is it going to eat us?” ~Annita Manning

So…what is a flexitarian exactly? Generally speaking, a flexitarian is someone who eats mostly plants, but also eats meat a couple times a week. However, our diet is just a little more specific than that…

I have often in my life contemplated vegetarianism. I’ve known that it is better for the environment and that if I made the switch I would generally eat a lot healthier. But like many Americans, I didn’t want to think about what I was eating and I never took the time to do research.

Last September it all changed. I finally watched the movie “Food, Inc.” that I had heard about so much. In fact, I watched it 3 times. The movie revealed the facts about the industries behind the food in our country. It opened my eyes, and it changed me. I then started reading books and doing more and more research on my own. I was convinced that I had to make a change to the way I was eating- for the health of me and my family and for our environment.

I decided that it was not vegetarianism that I needed, although that is a good option. We just needed to start voting with our dollars. We needed to support the farmers that we believe in and eat food only when we know where it’s come from and what exactly is in it!

Here’s how we changed:

1. First of all, we eat locally and support our local farmers. I had already been going to our local farmer’s market each week and buying most of our produce there, so I continued that. By supporting local farmers we are helping our local economy and we also get to talk directly to the person who has grown or raised our food. Also, we can be confident that we are helping the environment. For example, we no longer eat blueberries that have been carried on a truck all the way from California to Florida. We eat blueberries when they are in season here in Florida and that have traveled at most 20 miles.

2. We eat local and free-range meat. Luckily, at our local farmer’s market they sell meat! We buy fish that has been locally caught, we get organic and free-range chicken and eggs, as well as grass-fed  and free-range beef, and organic free-range pork! We can still have all of our meat only it is better for us and the environment. No hormones. No antibiotics. No corn-fed beef. No chickens kept in darkness. We can also visit these farms whenever we want to and see the way these animals are treated and kept.

3. We eat organic food whenever possible or when it is not possible to get something local. We don’t want to eat pesticides and hormones and GMO’s created in a lab. We want natural.

4. We stay away from processed foods, or as Michael Pollan would call them, “food-like substances.” Now yes, some of the things we eat have been processed but we go for the minimally processed items and organic items. This by itself has really cut down on our consumption of junk food.  And of course we don’t eat anything with ingredients that we can’t pronounce.

5. When we eat out- we eat vegetarian or pescetarian. Most people and restaurants do not hold our same conviction about free-range meat. So to be safe, when we haven’t bought the meat ourselves, we avoid it all together. We do however eat seafood- as long as it is not farm-raised or a fish that is being over-fished.

The most common question I get about our lifestyle is about the cost. Here’s the truth, overall, it is a bit more expensive to eat this way- but not as much as you would think. Our produce is much cheaper to buy at the farmer’s marker than at the grocery store, but meat however, is more expensive. But keep in mind, we only eat meat a couple times a week. Before we made the switch we would eat meat for lunch and dinner-everyday. Now we eat meat about 2-3 times a week total. And as you know meat is always the most expensive thing on the grocery bill. Things like milk, eggs, and yogurt are more expensive. But- we also save money when we eat out- eggplant parmesan is less expensive than a steak dinner! So it really does balance out.

This is the gist of how we eat. Overall since we have made the switch we feel great. We have both lost weight, we have more energy and we are eating foods that we never have before- like kale and eggplant! If you want more details or more on the “why” feel free to ask me and I’d be more than happy to talk to you about it!

I also urge you to do your own research and get informed. Know what you eat because as they say “you are what you eat!” When it comes to food for your family- ignorance is not bliss. Here are some recommended places for you to start:

– “Food, Inc.”- a film on the food industries in our country. (if you have Netflix, this is on watch instantly!)

– “Food Rules,” An Eater’s Manual- book by Michael Pollan

– “Green Living,” The E Magazine Handbook for Living Lightly on the Earth- by the editors of E magazine